TSMC begins volume production of 16-nm FinFET chips

During its Q2 earnings call, TSMC president and co-CEO Mark Liu announced that the chipmaker has begun volume shipment of chips based on its 16-nm FinFET manufacturing process. According to a transcript of the call posted by TheStreet, Liu said that the ramping of the 16-nm process will be even more aggressive than that of its 20-nm process. As a result, TSMC expects to gain foundry market share over the remainder of 2015 and well into 2016.

Liu also talked about the foundry's 10-nm and 7-nm processes, saying that the recent product-like validation vehicle milestone was encouraging and that its plans are on-track. He re-iterated that the company plans to make 7-nm validation samples in the second quarter of 2017, just fifteen months after 10-nm validation. 

According to C.C. Wei, also president and co-CEO, the foundry expects 16-nm processor shipments to begin contributing to revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015, since the process will ramp up during much of the third quarter. Wei also said TSMC was able to move relatively quickly from 20-nm to 16-nm manufacturing, saying "Since 16 nanometer shares [a] similar metal backend process with 20 nanometer, our 16 FinFET can benefit a lot from 20-nanometer's learning."  

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